The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 18 August 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520818-TC-JAC-01; CL 27: 234-235


Scotsbrig, 18 Augt, 1852—

Dear Brother,—We are all well here this morning; I write you a word, as requested, to the Moffat Post-Office, to say so much, if nothing more.

Thanks for the German details; I believe I shall be obliged to go, there seems no honourable getting off from it;—Saturday come a week, I must sail, and see the matter to some kind of end! But the outlook of sleepless nights, of wearisome fatiguing dreary days, and toil at once and ennui, to little visible purpose: all this fills me with a kind of horror. For one thing, however, I may take all my luggage with me, provided you bring a big enough portmanteau. I warmly approved of that project; and would have written sanctioning and encouraging it, had there still been convenience after reading your Letter last night. I will also study to make use of Dr Hunter's1 services, and be thankful to him for whatever he can do for me. I spoke to Adamson yesterday about money: on that side there is no difficulty, it wd seem.

We got home yesternight between five and six o'clock, in time for a “warm cup of tea”: Jane and I had left Dumfries in the skirt of a heavy shower, which however promised to be the last, and proved so, the rest of the day growing ever brighter, with fine big spots of cloud-shadow; never did Annandale look better from the top of Repentance Hill. Poor Mary made no complaint about herself; bustled about in hospitable assiduity,—tho' I suppose she is still very far from strong. My Mother had missed sleep the first night, but got better on the next (and even during the day); and was very brisk and lively when we arrived, and thro' the journey, as she still is. Jean is lodged in your room,—busy at present running stockings for me. She should go home, I imagine, for saturday night; but if you come early enough, she can witht the least inconvenience get off to Annan, and home tomorrow (Friday) evening. Probably you will stay a day in Moffat at any rate? You need not do so on her account; but if nothing hurry her I suppose she will not voluntarily lift anchor tomorrow.

Jamie proposes beginning to reap tomorrow. The day is a reaping day; but cold and overclouded, without drought.

A Letter from Jane was here waiting, with various enclosures: all is in statu quo [its existing state] at Chelsea; nothing worse than it was, “the sun out again,” and the carpenters and plasterers in motion tho' at a slow pace. I think I told you I had written to Neuberg, in a dubitating, not-consenting, yet not-denying tone?— Ay de mi!

I need not write more here at present. Ever your affectionate

T. Carlyle

By the bye! Is there any such thing to be had in Moffat as about half a square yard (not above ten inches broad, 5 wd be better) of oiled silk, supple Mackintosh cloth, or other texture impervious to water? Jean says oiled silk is on sale in most Apothecaries' shops.— The case is, both Isabella and my Mother have taken to “compresses,”—my Mother has borrowed mine this day, and likes it;—with the material above-specified, it wd be quite easy to construct a pair here. Nothing else but perhaps three yards of very broad tape (¼ inch, not less) are needed; with linen or cotton cloth which the house itself will furnish. Jean suggests this message. See what can be done.